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Northcentral Technical College, with Antigo campus, named among top 150 in nation
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The Aspen Institute recently named Northcentral Technical College, which operates a campus in Antigo, among the nation’s top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million in prize funds.

The Aspen Institute identified the top 150 community colleges through an assessment of institutional performance, improvement and equity on student retention and completion measures.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Aspen Institute as one of the top 150 community colleges nationwide,” Lori Weyers, President, NTC, said. “This is a tribute to our excellent faculty and staff who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to our students and their success.”

NTC is now eligible to apply for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The $1 million Aspen Prize, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges and recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

Nearly half of America’s college students attend a technical or community college, with more than seven million students – youth and adult learners – working towards certificates and degrees in these institutions across the country.

“Community colleges have tremendous power to change lives, and their success will increasingly define our nation’s economic strength and the potential for social mobility for every American,” Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, said. “This competition is designed to spotlight the excellent work being done in the most effective community colleges, those that best help students obtain meaningful, high-quality education and training for competitive-wage jobs after college. We hope it will raise the bar and provide a roadmap for community colleges nationwide.”

The 150 community colleges announced were selected from a national pool of over 1,000 public two-year colleges using publicly available data on student outcomes. The formula used to select the colleges was devised by expert analysts at the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems in consultation with an expert advisory committee convened by the Aspen Institute. The data focus on student retention and completion, considered from three perspectives:

—Performance (retention, graduation rates including transfers and degrees and certificates per 100 “full-time equivalent” students)

—Improvement (awarded for steady improvement in each performance metric over time)

—Equity (evidence of strong completion outcomes for minority and low-income students)


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Antigo’s Northcentral Technical College campus, including its recently-constructed Wood Technology Center, at left.
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